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Voter Turnout Trends in Last Election Cycle: Will 2024 See Continued Patterns?


As 15 states hold Democratic and Republican primaries on March 5, Super Tuesday, the number of people who vote and the candidates they select will offer key insight into the November 5th presidential election. Residents of California, Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Colorado, Minnesota, Alabama, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Utah, Maine and Alaska will determine the fate of roughly one-third of the delegates needed to win the respective primaries. After the primaries, 530 electoral votes will be up for grabs – with 270 needed to secure the presidency.

Just over two-thirds of adults in the U.S. voted in 2020. But from state to state, the turnout ranged from 54% to 80%, leaving a lot of voting power on the table in some cases. Meanwhile, small reallocations of electoral votes will affect 13 states this election cycle. With this in mind, SmartAsset ranked each state by the percent of citizen adults who voted in the 2020 presidential election.

Key Findings

  • Minnesota had the highest voter turnout in 2020 at 80%. Minnesota had the highest turnout countrywide at 79.7% of the adult citizen population. Colorado placed second with 79.0%, Maine third with 77.4%, Washington fourth at 76.5% and Oregon fifth at 76.4%.
  • Higher voter turnout leaned heavily blue, while lower voter turnout swung heavily red in 2020. Out of the top 10 states with the highest turnouts for the 2020 election, only one of 89 electoral votes was red. Of the 10 states with the lowest turnouts, only nine of 101 electoral college votes were blue.
  • Florida had the highest voter turnout of red-voting states in 2020. Still, no Southern state made it to the top 10. Florida placed 14th with a 72.3% voter turnout, and North Carolina placed 15th with approximately the same turnout.
  • Less than 60% of citizens over 18 voted in five states. Oklahoma had the lowest voter turnout in 2020 at 54.7%. Arkansas (54.9%), West Virginia (55.6%), Hawaii (56.8%) and Mississippi (58.7%) also had some of the lowest turnouts.
  • States that flipped from red to blue in 2020 had average or above average voter turnout. Despite being red in 2016, Wisconsin (75.1%), Michigan (73.6%), Pennsylvania (70.7%) voters turned out to flip the state last election. While Arizona and Georgia also flipped, slightly less than the U.S. average turned out to vote at 67.0% and 66.8%, respectively.
  • Texas gets two more electoral votes this year. Texas had the sixth-lowest voter turnout at 60.9%, but the state now has 40 electoral votes compared to 38 in 2020. Five other states get one more electoral vote this year: Florida (72.4% turnout in 2020), North Carolina (72.3%), Colorado (79.0%), Oregon (76.4%) and Montana (73.3%).
  • These states lost electoral votes for 2024. While California still has the most electoral votes at 54 in 2024, despite losing one from the last election cycle. Last election, California had a 67.9% turnout. New York (62.9% turnout in 2020), Illinois (66.5%), Pennsylvania (70.7%), Ohio (66.9%), Michigan (73.6%) and West Virginia (55.65) also lost one electoral vote each for 2024.

10 Counties With the Highest Voter Turnout in the 2020 Presidential Election

Rankings are based on the percent of resident citizens aged 18 and over who voted in the last presidential election.

  1. Garfield County, MT: 99.8%
  2. Grand Isle County, VT: 99.6%
  3. Hanson County, SD: 99.5%
  4. Ouray County, CO: 97.5%
  5. Mineral County, CO: 95.9%
  6. Hinsdale County, CO: 95.0%
  7. Dukes County, MA: 95.0%
  8. Douglas County, CO: 94.7%
  9. Borden County, TX: 94.5%
  10. Leelanau County, MI: 94.3%

10 Counties With the Lowest Voter Turnout in the 2020 Presidential Election

Rankings are based on the percent of resident citizens aged 18 and over who voted in the last presidential election.

  1. Chattahoochee County, GA: 19.4%
  2. Lake County, TN: 32.9%
  3. Wheeler County, GA: 35.0%
  4. Oglala Lakota County, SD: 35.5%
  5. Lincoln County, AR: 35.7%
  6. Pulaski County, MO: 36.3%
  7. Reeves County, TX: 36.5%
  8. Crowley County, CO: 36.6%
  9. St. Francis County, AR: 36.9%
  10. Telfair County, GA: 37.1%

Data and Methodology

Data is for 2023 and comes from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. Voter turnout is based on the percentage of the citizen population aged 18 and over who voted in the U.S. Presidential election in 2020.

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